REDUCED demand from supermarkets and exporters pulled slaughter lamb prices back early this week, especially for trade weight lambs.
With most processors not pushed for supplies from saleyards or direct sales, new season lamb prices fell by up to $15 at the Tamworth saleyards, but generally dropped $3-$5.
Despite the subdued demand, eastern state new season lamb prices early this week were still generally from 480-660c/kg for 12.1-18kg cwt quality crossbred lambs and from mostly 530-640c/kg for trade weights. Heavy weights in eastern saleyards ranged from 510-650c/kg.
Restockers were also more active in saleyards early this week on light and Merino lambs, helping the Eastern States Daily Indicator for restocking lambs to lift 2 cents to 597c/kg on Tuesday.
Brian Unthank Rodwells auctioneer at Corowa Peter Ellis said lamb prices were $10-$15 cheaper despite the reduce supply, though all the major processors attended the sale.
“We saw the start of restockers coming in to the market.”
He said lamb supply strengthened last week and processors weren’t as forced to get numbers early this week.
“After the extreme rates of last week, it was back to still very, very good rates.
“I think few more lambs have gone over the hooks, but give it two weeks and I think you will see the supply increase around us for sure.”
Forbes agent, Kevin Miller of Miller, Whitty Lennon and Co. said an easing of lamb prices happens annually at this time of the year, but prices were well in front of 2014 prices during the same period.
“Everybody has got to clap more than feel bad about it.”
He said young lamb prices have stayed good in NSW because Victoria’s tough autumn had reduced new season lamb supplies, forcing southern processors to buy in the north.
“What will happen from now on is it will get warmer and the southern yards will start yarding more numbers and the supply is going to increase across the board.”
New season lamb rates peaking above 605c/kg at all weights
At the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $1-$7 skins at $78-$117, or 493-617c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with $1-$10 skins made $105-$146, or 511-629c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lambs with $10 skins sold from $146-$163, or 544-612c/kg. Some 26.1-30kg young lambs with $10 skins made $169 or 589c/kg.
At the Corowa saleyards, the light new season lambs with$4-$8 skins made $75-$115.60, or 444-614c/kg, and the trade weights with $8-$10 skins sold from $101-$142, or 465-629c/kg. The 22.1-26kg young lambs with $10 skins made $140-$160, or 546-604c/kg.
At the Tamworth saleyards, the 12.1-18kg news season lambs with $2-$9 skins sold from $91.50-$118, or 559-624c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with $2-$10 skins made $117-$136, or 548-630c/kg, and 22.1-26kg lambs with $2-$10 skins sold for $129-$158, or 517-633c/kg. Heavy weight 26.1-30kg lambs with $2-$12 skins made $140-$170, or 521-566c/kg.
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the 12.1-18kg young lambs with $1-$10 skins sold from $83-$119, or 557-675c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lines with $1-$10 skins made $118-$151, or 555-641c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lambs with $9-$10 skins made $142-$165, or 568-650c/kg.
At the Deniliquin saleyards, light new season lambs with $5-$6 skins sold from $88.60-$118, or 550-647c/kg, and the trade weights with skins value up to $10 ranged from $106.20-$146, or 491-638c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lambs with $8-$10 skins made $140-$160, or 577-621c/kg, and 26.1-30kg lambs with $10-$11 skins sold for $165, or 550-554c/kg.
At the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $1-$8 skins sold from $84-$121, or 527-653c/kg, and the trade weights with $6-$11 skins made $112-$145, or 538-645c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lambs with $8-$11 skins sold from $132-$168, or 542-628c/kg.
At Ballarat yesterday, light young lambs with $1-$8 skins made $80-$118, or 483-647c/kg, and the trade weights with $7-$10 skins sold from $118-$146, or 572-632c/kg. The 22.1-24kg lines with $10-$11 skins made $140-$152, or 561-617c/kg.
At the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin, light new season lambs with $2-$8 skins sold from $66-$115, or 429-664c/kg, and the trade weights with $2-$8 skins made $96-$130, or 467-559c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $7-$8 skins sold from $120-$151, or 487-572c/kg.
At the Naracoorte saleyards, the light young lambs with $5-$7 skins sold from $88-$120, or 560-669c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lambs with $7 skins made $117-$135, or 532-595c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $7 skins sold for $129-$152, or 508-558c/kg.
At the Muchea saleyards, the 0-12kg young lambs with $1-$2 skins made $42-$65, or 456-580c/kg, and the 12.1-18kg lines with $1-$2 skins sold from $65-$98.50, or 450-592c/kg. The light and medium trade weight lambs with $1-$4 skins made $95-$130, or 490-582c/kg, and the 22.1-24kg lines with $1-$3 skins ranged from $122.50-$132.50, or 508-563c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators most negative on Tuesday
After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs were: restocker 597c/kg, up 2 cents; Merino 520c/kg, down 8c; light 541c/kg, down 3c; trade 576c/kg, down 6c, and’ heavy 571c/kg, no change. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 6 cents at 574c/kg and the heavy indice finished on 571c/kg, down 1 cent.
The ESDI for mutton gained 2 cents to 384cv/kg and the national indice is on 383c/kg, up 1 cent.
Dubbo’s young trade lambs $4 cheaper, but average 601c/kg
In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 30,630 lambs, 2050 fewer than last week, and 7320 sheep, 50 more.
The NLRS said it was a good quality yarding, with good selections of well-finished trade and heavy weight lambs. Most of the regular buyers attended, except for a major southern export processor.
Light weight lambs were up to $5 cheaper, with the 12-18kg 2 score lambs selling from $73-$100. Trade weight new season lambs were $4 cheaper, with the 18-22kg 3 scores making $105-$147 to average 601c/kg cwt. Heavy weight new season lambs sold to $169.
Trade weight old lambs were $5-$7 cheaper at $98-$136. Heavy weight lambs were also $8 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $130-$188. Merino lambs were up to $9-$12 cheaper, with trade weights making $100-$135. Heavy weight Merinos sold to $147. Restockers paid to $120 and hoggets sold to $134.
Mutton quality was mixed, but most grades sold firm. The 2 score ewes sold from $40-$80. The better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $76-$130 and crossbreds sold to $115. The 3 and 4 score wethers sold from $80-$126.
Corowa’s new season lambs fall $10-$12
At the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 6400 lambs, 798 fewer than last week, and 2800 sheep, 567 less.
The NLRS said the offering, including about 3300 new season lambs, met reduced competition. Quality was not as good and this was partly reflected in the cheaper prices. New season lambs were best represented by trade weights and a small run of heavy weights. There were more heavy old lambs than trade weights. Supermarkets and exporters were quiet in the cheaper market.
New season lambs sold $10-$12 cheaper. New season trade weights sold from $112-$142 and heavy lambs from $140-$160. Most ranged from 570-600c/kg cwt.
Old medium and heavy trade weights sold from $101-$138. Heavy lambs made $123-$150 and extra heavy lambs sold to $165. Old lambs averaged around 540c/kg. The number of Merino lambs was limited and the shorn trade weights sold from $82-$123.
Mutton quality varied. Mostly ewes were penned and prices were firm for most. Medium weights Merinos sold from $75-$115. Heavy weights reached $129. The better covered sheep averaged 380-410c/kg.
Tamworth’s trade weight lambs $14 cheaper
At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 4000 lambs, 1000 more than last week, and 1350 sheep, 700 more.
The NLRS said the number of lambs increased with the incorporation of the annual show sale. Overall quality was high and featured a good supply of well-finished young lambs in all weight classes. There were also some very good lambs in the normal sale section. However, reduced competition and increased supply contributed to a much cheaper market trend.
Trade weight young lambs averaged $14 cheaper and more in places. Heavy and extra heavy young lambs were $11-$14 cheaper. Well-finished heavy and extra heavy weight old lambs sold to a cheaper trend, although the fall was not as great as that of the young lambs. Secondary quality trade weight old lambs were also cheaper.
There was a good percentage of well-finished sheep, with most of the offering carrying short skins. The market for plainer condition sheep was cheaper, while the well-finished medium weights were firm to slightly dearer.
Young lambs at Forbes drop $5
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 31,269 lambs, 1750 fewer than last week, and 8323 sheep, 536 more.
The yarding included 14,650 fair quality new season lambs. There was a good offering of well-finished lambs available, along with drier types. Heavy weight lambs were well-supplied. The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market.
Light new season lambs sold from $112-$119. Trade weights were $4-$5 easier at $118-$149. Heavy weight lambs were also $5 easier at $145-$165. Carcase prices ranged from 598-613c/kg cwt.
Light old lambs averaged $103. Trade weights eased $4-$6 to sell from $110-$141. Heavy and extra heavy weights were $3-$5 easier. Heavy lambs sold from $143-$167 and extra heavies from $170-$204.
Mutton quality was fair. Most were Merinos and prices lifted slightly. Merino ewes sold from $78-$125. Crossbreds ranged from $86-$126 and Dorper ewes made $74-$97. Merino wethers sold from $88-$125.
Deniliquin lambs sell cheaper
At the Deniliquin saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 7457 lambs, 1598 more than last week, and 2984 sheep, 1569 more.
The NLRS said the number of new season lambs increased as the annual spring turn-off gathered pace. Most of the usual buyers operated, with bidding dominated by domestic buyers rather than export slaughter competition. The quality and carcase finish of the lead pens of young lambs remained very good, although there were more first cross and lighter weight lambs.
Young lamb prices showed a cheaper trend, compared to the last sale a fortnight ago. However, results were similar to more recent markets. Only 886 old season lambs were yarded, comprising mainly smaller clean-up lots.
Young lambs sold to $165 for a pen estimated at about 28kg cwt. The heaviest pens of young lambs over 24kg cwt sold from $155-$165, or an estimated 555-590c/kg cwt. Selling to better demand from buyers, which comprised mostly domestic processors, were heavy trade weight young lambs at $140-$156 and medium trade weights at $131-$146. These lambs mostly ranged from 580-620c/kg, to average 600-610c/kg, based on $8-$10 skins. Pens of lighter weight young lambs, 20kg cwt and less, mostly sold from $105-$124.
There was no significant restocker interest. The yarding of old season lambs was limited and very mixed for quality as tail-end drafts come through. Heavy lambs sold to $147, with most of the plainer trade weight types making $100-$120, returning varied carcase weight price results depending on finish and breed quality. Light weight slaughter lambs mostly sold from $62-$94 and were dearer in places.
The sheep were mainly shorn Merino ewes, with only odd lots of heavy crossbred ewes which sold to $120. Prices were mostly similar to a fortnight ago, with the good runs of mutton costing processors an estimated 360-380c/kg cwt. There was several drafts of ram hoggets which sold from $66-$96.
Bendigo’s young lambs sell to $168
In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 11,555 lambs, 3029 fewer than last week, and 10,383 sheep, 435 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good, with most of the usual buyers operating in a generally firm market.
The best of the heavy young lambs were in good condition and sold to $168. There was a reasonable number of old lambs that sold to $163, to be a few dollars easier in places. Restockers paid $86.60-$113 for young lambs and $60-$94 for Merino wethers. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $84-$99.60. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $112-$137 and averaged around 610c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $128-$145. Heavier weights made $132-$160, or 570-630c/kg to average around 590c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $154-$168.
The sheep yarding included all weights and grades, but with more light shorn lines. Some excellent pens of heavy recently-shorn Merino wethers sold from $117.20-$125, with a small pen of extra heavy crossbred wethers making $158.
Lighter sheep sold firm and some of the medium and heavy crossbred sheep were a little easier. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $49.60-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $66-$110, or from 310-410c/kg cwt, to average around 390c/kg for Merinos. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep made $80-$124 and heavy crossbred wethers sold to $158. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $90-$125. Medium weight wethers sold from $70-$93 and averaged around 390c/kg. Rams sold from $26-$102.
Ballarat young lambs sell firm to slightly easier
At the Ballarat saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 3004 lambs, 1298 fewer than last week, and 4034 sheep, 883 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed. Most of the regular buyers attended, but not all operated fully. More young lambs were yarded this week and they were in average condition with heavier weights scarce. They sold from similar to last week to a few dollars easier on quality.
Light weight 2 and 3 score young lambs sold from $85-$97. Light trade weight 3 score young lambs made $99-$128 and averaged around 600c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score young lambs sold from $126-$146 and heavier lots made $140-$152, ranging from 570-620c/kg to average around 600c/kg. Merino lambs sold from $87-$90. Restockers and feeders paid $106-$125 for young lambs.
Old lambs sold to $172 to be similar to last week. Restockers and feeders paid $80-$136 for old lambs to feed on. They also paid from $65-$90 for Merino wethers.
The quality of the sheep was average. Lighter sheep sold a few dollars better in places, with heavy sheep firm in places, but up to $5 easier. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $45-$92. Medium weight 3 and 4 score sheep sold from $70-$102, or 310-410c/kg cwt, with Merino mutton averaging around 400c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $80-$123. Heavy Merino wethers made $100-$115 and medium weights $77-$92, to range from 390-400c/kg cwt.
Dublin’s new season lambs ease $3
In South Australia at the SA Livestock Exchange, Dublin, on Tuesday, the agents yarded 8998 lambs, 5002 fewer than last week, and 2205 sheep, 795 less.
The NLRS said a vastly improved quality yarding comprised mainly new season crossbred lambs. They sold to easing competition from the usual trade and processor buyers, although one major processor didn’t operate. Feeders and restockers were cautiously active on light weight lambs at rates on a par with last week.
Light weight crossbred, new seasons lambs sold to feeders for $100-$115. Light weight 4 scores sold to trade buyers for $104-$117, easing $3 to average 532c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 4 scores also eased $3 to $105-$130 and averaged 508c/kg. Heavy trade weights made $120-$143 to average 529c/kg and the few heavy weights sold from $140-$151.
Good numbers of Merino new seasons lambs were yarded. Restockers bought ultra-light weights for $70, processors paid $66-$91 for light weights. A few trade weight 3 score Merinos made $100-$108, to average 491c/kg.
There were fewer old lambs. Trade and heavy weight crossbreds sold from $110-$144. Heavy weight Merino lambs sold from $107-$130. Heavy weight Merino hoggets made $110-$136 and crossbreds sold from $116-$128. A
The generally good quality sheep sold to stronger competition from a large gallery of processor buyers. Restockers operated sparingly and bought wethers at $82. A good selection of Merino ewes lifted prices, with 2 scores up $5 to $85-$95 and averaging 337c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 score ewes also lifted $5 to $75-$112, to average 324c/kg. Heavy weight wethers lifted very marginally to $100-$121, to average 358c/kg. Heavy weight rams made $59-$84.
Naracoorte’s young trade weight lambs lift $4
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2397 lambs, 665 more than last week, and 1425 sheep, 673 more.
The NLRS said more new season lambs came forward for the usual trade and processor buyers, plus an extra domestic operator seeking new season lambs. However, not all the buyers were fully active. Lamb prices were dearer.
More new season lambs were offered. Light weights were sought by restockers at $83-$95. Lightweight trade 2 and 3 scores ranged from $110-$120 and trade weight 3 scores made $117-$135, up $4 at 570c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs sold from $129-$152.
Lightweight old lambs ranged from $78-$102 and trade weight 3 scores made $108-$118, averaging 560c/kg. Heavy 4 score old lambs sold from $124-$145. Light weight old Merino lambs sold mainly from $85-$100 and trade weight 3 scores made $101-$115. A pen of heavier Merino lambs made $116.
Sheep prices eased. Hoggets were plentiful and sold from $88-$100. Light weight wethers made $66-$93 and heavy wethers sold to $104. Lightweight crossbred ewes sold to $58. Lightweight 1 and 2 score Merinos ranged from $45-$61, $6-$8 easier. Medium weighted crossbreds ranged from $66-$92, averaging 325c/kg cwt. Medium weight Merinos ranged from $58-$96. Heavy ewes sold from $79-$105, $2 easier. Rams made $66-$84.
Muchea’s trade weight young lambs sell firm
In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 7000 lambs, 2350 more than last week, and 7426 sheep, 2926 more.
The NLRS said sheep and lamb numbers lifted with warming weather conditions. New season lamb supply increased with nearly 3000, but most were light weight lambs. Old season lambs were of mixed quality and prices were erratic. All buyers operated in a solid market, with most categories selling at very firm prices.
Light weight new season lambs made $60-$98 and prices were back by close to $4. Prices for trade weight new season lambs remained firm on prime drafts at $95-$130, to be close to 540c/kg cwt on average. Heavy lambs sold from $124-$132.50 to be $42 easier.
The old season lambs were mixed in quality, with light weight drafts selling to restockers at $49-$70. Processors and live exporters paid $62-$96. Trade weight old seasons lambs made $85-$121 to average close to 500c/kg cwt. Heavy old season lambs sold to $130.
Ewe mutton supply remained very strong, with good numbers of heavy weight ewes with moderate skin length. Ewe prices were marginally easier than last week, with the lighter weight drafts making $35-$60. Processors paid $60-$85 for score 2 mutton, back $2 on average. Better conditioned ewes, including the heavy weight drafts, made $72-$100, or close to 310c/kg cwt.
Wether competition kept prices high, with the better bare shorn wethers suitable for live exporters making $72-$110 and woolly wethers selling to $119. Restockers paid $60-$92 for lighter and store wether drafts, with most firm to $4 dearer. Rams also sold well, with ram lambs to processors making $60-$100 and young drafts to live export $69-$100. Old rams sold mostly to processors at $43-$70.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.